By Owen Mandovha
The Government is crafting strategies to increase soya bean production which is key in the manufacturing cooking oil to reduce the import bill, in line with the National Development Strategy One economic blueprint.
The price increase in crude degummed soya bean oil triggered a price increase in local prices but the Government is working to avert any potential shortages and price increases.
The tour of Pure Oil Industries operations in Harare by Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza this Monday laid bare the challenges affecting local edible oil pressers who are import-dependent.
Hope is not lost though as the Minister took time to explain the dynamics and proffered solutions.
“I can assure you that there is sufficient supply on the market however we are escalating our efforts in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that farmers are capacitated.”
Pure Oil industries Chief Operating Officer, Rodrick Musiiwa explained how the local industry has become vulnerable to supply challenges of soya bean.
“We produce about 70 million liters of cooking and we import the crude soya oil and that is split between cooking oil and stock feeds. Because of limited supply on the local market we are faced with no option but to import which exposes us to price variations on the international market.”
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce is working closely with private sector players to increase production of soya bean to reduce the import bill which is one of the foundations of the National Development Strategy One policy blueprint.